The process for the presidential search continues as semi-finalists have participated in interviews. Twelve impressive candidates were interviewed over a two day period in an effort to narrow the field. The search committee has been working tirelessly to identify candidates whose experience, contributions across the academic community and beyond, and passion for the education of women and men seeking to have the unique experience that Philander Smith College offers.
The semi-finalists interviewed represented a broad range of experiences and consistently demonstrated an awareness of Philander's history, as well as its current presence within the ranks of HBCUs and private liberal arts institutions. The semi-finalists' pool has been narrowed to six remaining candidates. Follow-up interviews will be scheduled for these semi-finalists within the next month. This is a critical step in the search process. The search committee is seeking to identify finalists from this current semi-finalists group. Once finalists have been identified, on-campus interviews will be scheduled. This is one of the most important steps in the process. Finalists will have an opportunity to see the campus and the community, and the campus and the community will be encouraged to take advantage of this privilege, as well.
The work of the Search Committee continues with attention to on-going challenges and new opportunities. Previously, the June update indicated the Search Committee's selection of semi-finalists. To attest to the quality of the candidates seeking consideration to be Philander's 14th president, three candidates were withdrawn from consideration after having been selected for positions at other colleges and universities.
The applicant pool is strong and the Search Committee continues to be diligent in looking closely at applicants. To this end, semi-finalists have been selected to fill those vacancies left by persons having accepted other positions. Preliminary interviews are scheduled for the week of July 21st. Following these initial interviews, the committee expects to narrow the field of candidates and a second series of interviews will be held.
The Philander Smith College family and community will have an opportunity to meet and enlist dialogue with finalists as the vetting process is completed. Look for the schedule of these meetings, and plan to attend. Continue to keep the work of the Search Committee and the candidates being considered in prayer.
Up to the June 15th date for best consideration, sixty applicants were received with interest in serving as the 14th president of Philander Smith College. The Search Committee has met to review the applicants and identify those who may be semi-finalists. Recognizing that some applicants may no longer be available, the Search Committee understands that prospective semi-finalists are official only after confirmation has been received to continue the vetting process.
Nine of the sixty applicants were selected as semi-finalists. After contact has been made and confirmation received, the process continues with extensive background checks, comprehensive discussions with semi-finalists' references, and additional communication with the semi-finalists, as needed. The Search Committee expects to complete these next steps by the end of July, concluding with interviews of the semi-finalists. Following these interviews, the scheduling of tentative on-campus visits of identified finalists will be completed by the end of August.
The Search Committee's work has been diligent and intense with great care and consideration given to every applicant. Updates will continue to be provided as the process evolves.
The date given for best consideration when applying for the position of the fourteenth president of Philander Smith College was June 15, 2014. To date fifty-six applicants have been received, and the Search Committee is conscientiously reading and re-reading applicants curricula vitae. Later this month, the search committee will convene to identify top candidates as prospective semi-finalists.
The tasks of screening candidates to select those who best represent the qualifications: visionary leadership, fund raising experience, five years minimum of senior level administrative experience, and an appreciation of Philander Smith College’s history and legacy as a HBCU, steeped in a strong Christian foundation and culture. These qualifications are critical as candidates are reviewed. Additionally, specific attributes have been identified and candidate profiles are scrutinized to find evidence of these areas of competence and understanding.
As semi-finalists are identified, the next steps of the search process can proceed.
During the week of graduation exercises and the Alumni Weekend celebration, the presidential search committee was also meeting. As of May 5th, forty applicants have been received. The committee met to address questions and concerns about process, confidentiality, timelines, and other details to assist in the evaluation of the candidate applications.
The publication of the position requests that applicants submit their curriculum vitae, cover letter, and references by June 15th for best consideration. While numerous applicants have responded, interest remains very high and applications continue to be received. The Search Committee members are working diligently to give each applicant every consideration. The next critical step in the process is the identification of semi-finalists. The tentative target for completing this phase is July 1st. However, the committee's greater commitment is to find the candidates that best demonstrate the competencies, experiences, skills, along with additional abilities that can serve the needs, present and future, for Philander Smith College.
Thanks to everyone who attended the recent forums. Great questions and discussions were shared. The primary purpose of the sessions was to provide insight on the search process. Seven separate hour long sessions were held and attendees included students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The questions and concerns raised during the forums will certainly be factored in throughout the search procedures.
The Search Committee members spent quality time reviewing the overall process and becoming acclimated for the tasks ahead. Currently twenty-seven applicants, nominations, and inquiries have been received. While there is no exact timeline, the Search Committee is committed to closely screening applicants as expeditiously as possible.
Please refer to this link for updates on the search process.